The Challenge

COVID-19 is having a drastic impact on education across our state. Students have lost learning time and are falling behind. Families are juggling work, school, and childcare. Teachers are struggling to keep students engaged. All of this makes it harder for students to learn and thrive.

North Carolina Education Corps (NCEC) is a response to the impact COVID-19 is having on schools, as students struggle to keep up with learning.

Our Response

North Carolina Education Corps partners with local schools to recruit, educate, and activate corps members to support students and accelerate learning. This year, corps members are paid a living wage by schools to work part-time as high-impact literacy tutors grounded in the science of reading and reading instruction. Corps members assist K-3 students with building their phonological awareness and phonics skills — foundational skills for learning how to read. Corps members and school administrators benefit from a common recruitment and application process, training, and ongoing support provided by NCEC.

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Whole Child focus


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North Carolina


Watch our Launch Video

Our Partners

The North Carolina State Board of Education and Office of the Governor, in partnership with former state superintendent Mike Ward and local school districts, launched the North Carolina Education Corps to accelerate learning recovery. The Mebane Foundation, C.D. Spangler Foundation, and SECU Foundation provided essential early investments to ensure the success of this critical effort.

Eliminate barriers to opportunity by providing high-quality whole child and academic support to public school students in North Carolina.

Board of Advisors and Board of Directors

Launched in September 2020, North Carolina Education Corps is now an independent nonprofit. Former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Ward serves as the chair of the bipartisan Board of Directors. Our Board of Advisors continues to guide our work. 

  • Governor Jim Hunt, Honorary Co-Chair
  • Governor Jim Martin, Honorary Co-Chair
  • Susanna Cerrato
  • Rep. Ashton Clemmons
  • Caroline Farmer*
  • James Ford**
  • Peter Hans
  • Tyronna Hooker
  • Craig Horn*
  • Anthony Jackson*
  • Susan Jamison*
  • Phil Kirk
  • Sen. Michael Lee
  • Steven Pearson
  • MariaRosa Rangel*
  • Munro Richardson
  • Lee Roberts
  • Deanna Townsend-Smith**
  • Thomas Stith
  • Catherine Truitt*
  • Mike Ward*
  • Hope Williams

*Denotes individuals who also serve on the Board of Directors
** Denotes North Carolina State Board of Education liaisons to the Board of Advisors

Our Leadership Team


John-Paul Smith

Executive Director

Jacqueline Chiras

Jacqueline Chiras

Director of Finance & Operations


Kevin Smith

Director of Marketing & Communications


Melissa Werner

Director of Recruitment


Pam Hartley

Director of School Partnerships


Shanitah Young

Director of Corps Member Experience & Training

Our 2023-2024 Goals:

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1000+ Corps Members


100+ PSUs


1 – 3 Corps Members
per Elementary School